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Fun and crowds for first ever disability sports day at Castleford RUFC

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Castleford RUFC’s Willowbridge Lane ground was packed recently as young and old gathered for the first disability sports day.

Around 150 people, including families and carers, attended the event for adults and children who have a wide range of disabilities. The day was filled with rugby-based fun, including tag rugby and training exercises, plus games such as tug of war and fun races – three-legged, sack and egg-and-spoon.

Fraser Watson, Care UK’s community inclusion manager, was part of the team who organised the event. He said: “It was a fantastic day and I know everyone who took part would like to thank the club members for their boundless enthusiasm and commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities in Castleford and beyond.

“Lots of people who use our learning disabilities service also came along. They had a wonderful time meeting Tiger Man, the mascot of the town’s Super League Rugby League team, and lots of other people, while having fun and getting active.”

Care UK service users visit the rugby club every Thursday for rugby fitness sessions. Steve Ball, the club’s honorary secretary and event organiser, said: “Over the weeks, we have built up participants’ throwing and catching skills. We are now developing their passing skills and we are enjoying some viable games of touch rugby.

“People are really enjoying it – they are faster, more flexible and their communications skills are improving as they develop teamwork skills. They are also becoming more involved with the club. As associate members, more of the group are coming down to watch games and take part in the life of the club, and more members can see how they can contribute to the sessions. For example, on Sunday, we had a great turn out of members who were working on the tackle bags and tackle shields with the participants. I think it was a fun and positive experience for everyone.”

As well as rugby fun, there were stalls, activities and inflatables, as well as live music to add to the carnival atmosphere.

Care UK’s services in Castleford include The Grange, The Hall and The House, which provide residential support for adults with learning disabilities, complex needs and behaviours that challenge.

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